The National Reptilian Expo took place on Mar. 2nd and 3rd at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville, Calif. The event happens at this location biannually and has become ones of the popular local events for friends and family time.
While the main idea of an expo is for vendors to present a selected item for selling and trading, it can also become an educational experience for any attendee, as all the vendors are willing to answer any questions someone may have.
Throughout the event, all vendors displayed commonly seen as well as rare types of reptiles, amphibians and arachnids. Vendors also offered equipment for the critter’s habitats, food they eat, and information on how to take care of the animals.
In addition, the event hosted food vendors, a face painting booth, reptile themed photography, reptile rescue services and an informative show about venomous snakes.
The venomous snake show was hosted by Carl Person, a biologist associated with Animalia herpetofauna Inc., a program that educates people about rattlesnake avoidance, and even how to train your dogs to recognize when snakes are nearby.
“I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. All I had were plastic dinosaurs and when I grew up and couldn’t get a velociraptor, I figured snakes are the next best thing,” Person said.
During the show, Person presented five different venomous snakes including a rattlesnake and a cobra, which he pulled from a bucket and rested on a table for the audience to view. He informed the crowd about how to avoid getting bit and what to do if it ever happened.
He also mentioned various medical benefits of snake venom that are currently being researched, such as using it to treat different types of cancer.
Since rattlesnakes are found in Calif. he discussed some false myths that have been thought about the reptile.
“Most people think that baby rattlesnake venom is more poisonous than an adult. This stems from the idea that they can’t control how much venom they release,” Person said. “The truth is that snakes, baby or adult, have complete control over their venom flow. They will only use the least amount of venom possible to get the job done.”
Most Vendors featured breeds of reptiles that are rare in the wild and have been captive through their lives. This was common to see in the collection of snakes, where the vendors would breed different snakes based on recessive genes in their specific species.
The prices of all the reptiles and other critters varied depending on rarity, color and species of the animals.
Certain vendor booths allowed attendees the opportunity to hold the reptiles they have on display, giving attendees the chance to get to know their future pets.
The National Reptilian Expo is ongoing and happens in various locations including San Diego, Northern Calif., Denver and Las Vegas. The types of species and activities at the expo may vary depending on the location.